ABU DHABI - Borouge, a petrochemical company that provides innovative and differentiated polyolefin solutions, has completed a turnaround project at its “Borouge 2” plant in Al Ruways Industrial City to ensure safe and reliable operations of the facility for the next operation cycle.

Production started at Borouge’s first plant (Borouge 1) in 2001 with an annual capacity of 450,000 tonnes of polyethylene, which was increased in 2005 to 600,000 tonnes. In 2010, Borouge increased its total annual production capacity to 2 million tonnes of Borstar polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene) upon starting-up its second plant (Borouge 2).

Planning to enhance its growth and increase its capacity to meet the rising demand for differentiated polyolefin solutions, in 2015, Borouge started-up its third plant (Borouge 3) which raised its total annual capacity to 4.5 million tonnes followed by the starting up of Borouge’s fifth polypropylene unit (PP5) in early 2022, bringing the company’s total production capacity to 5 million tonnes of polyolefins per year.

Dr. Saif Al Hajri, Vice President of Maintenance at Borouge, confirmed that the production capacity of Borouge’s petrochemical complex in Al Ruways Industrial City has increased by more than 10-fold in 20 years to meet the growing demand for the company's solutions and products locally, regionally and globally.

Al Hajri pointed out that more than 6,000 employees and contractors, including a large number of Emirati engineers and managers, participated in the Borouge 2 turnaround project, where they spent more than 1.84 million safe man-hours in full compliance with health, safety and environmental rules to enhance the continuity of the company's business.

He explained that the turnaround operations were carried out by employees from many departments across Borouge, including Operations, Maintenance, HSE and Operational Excellence, and planners and contractors.

Al Hajri said, “We carry out turnarounds at the Borouge’s petrochemical plants periodically to ensure safe and reliable operations for the next five years. The turnaround work at Borouge 2 plant began in February and was successfully and safely completed by mid-March 2023, where the plant's operational units were well maintained and are all operating smoothly.”

“The Borouge 2 Turnaround has helped us enhance our operational performance improvements and ensure safe operation during the next cycle, where a total of more than 31,000 activities were implemented based on more than 6,000 work orders. We also serviced 196 pieces of rotating equipment and 486 pieces of static equipment and overhauled 1,316 valves," he added.

Salem Al Busaeedi, Vice President, Plant Operations (Polyolefins) at Borouge, said, “At Borouge, we emphasise the performance, profitability and efficiency of our operations and enhance the contribution and development of our people, while actively contributing to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”

He added that Borouge is committed to operational and commercial excellence, with a detailed efficiency enhancement strategy focused on safety, plant reliability and integrity and cash flow optimisation.

Al Busaeedi pointed out the importance of the ‘Borouge Operational Excellence Programme’, which aims to enhance efficiency and productivity and achieve higher utilisation rates, reduce energy consumption and in turn reduce GHG emissions over the medium term.

It also aims to optimise outside resourcing and maintenance costs by challenging capital expenditure plans, including turnarounds to improve efficiencies and to keep low maintenance capital expenditure levels.

“Our operational excellence programme leverages existing expertise across our platforms to share best practices, provide in-house technical support and cooperate with committees to implement preventative and predictive programmes, including assessment of end-of-life for equipment and associated systems,” he noted.

Al Busaeedi reaffirmed that commitment to 100% HSE is a key priority for Borouge as the company regularly trains its employees to implement the safest practices in the industry. Borouge has one of the lowest total recordable incident rates in the industry. Borouge has also developed a comprehensive health and safety management system by adopting international best practice frameworks and continuous learning.

He explained that before launching the Borouge 2 turnaround project, over 1,800 HSE group engagements sessions were implemented and 600 HSE recognitions were received.

He noted that a great example of the successful contribution of Borouge’s UAE National employees in the turnaround projects is Amina Hassan AlHosani, Engineer, Mechanical Maintenance, who is the first UAE National female employee assigned as Project Lead for the Borouge 2 turnaround project. Amina, who holds a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering, joined Borouge in 2019.

Amina accepted to join the accelerated learning path opportunity, as part of the Maintenance function's contribution to the ‘Value Enhancement Programme. She played a significant role in completing some major turnaround milestones and demonstrated great leadership skills while collaborating with her colleagues.

She said, "I am very proud to have contributed to leading the Borouge 2 turnaround project through which my colleagues and I maintained the most important operational units in the plant so that it can continue working and producing during the next production cycle.

I highly appreciate Borouge's management and my superiors for giving me this valuable opportunity to lead the Borouge 2 turnaround project as the first Emirati female employee to perform this type of task in the company, and I strongly value their confidence in my ability to manage the project successfully as one of the Emirati manpower contributing to building this country.”

Borouge’s petrochemical complex is located in Al Ruways Industrial City, about 250 kilometres west of Abu Dhabi City. The complex is also the largest Borstar process technology-based plant in the world, providing enhanced innovative bimodal polymers for a broad range of polyolefin applications.